6-9 Carlton House Terrace
London, England

An evening discussion convened jointly by the British Academy and the Royal Society

Chair: Uta Frith, Moderator: Daniel Glaser
Speakers: Francesca Happé, Mark Lythgoe, John Sloboda

Extraordinary Talent remains one of the big unexplained puzzles, which will only be solved by a true collaboration between sciences and humanities. One key to the puzzle might be provided by the raised incidence of exceptional talent in individuals with autism. A Discussion Meeting on Autism and Talent was organised under the joint auspices of the British Academy and Royal Society and held in September 2008. Contributors from different disciplines explored aspects ranging from the prevalence and nature of exceptional talent and its basis in the brain, to the cognitive theories currently trying to explain the origin of talent, to the representation of talent and autism in biography and fiction. The outcome of this meeting showed some remarkable convergence of ideas, for instance, the possibility that a detail-focused processing style may predispose to talent. However, it is also clear that many of the most important questions still remain open. Are great artists fundamentally different from the rest of us? Is talent mainly nature or nurture? Is there a price to pay for exceptional ability in one domain? Does having a little bit of autism predispose to talent?
The panel will open discussion on these and similar questions.

This lecture is free - no ticket or advanced booking required. Doors open at 5.45pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis

Added by Royal Society Events on January 22, 2009